The Irish surname O'Killan originally appeared in Gaelic as O Cillin.
Early Origins of the O'Killan family
The surname O'Killan was first found in County Mayo
(Irish: Maigh Eo) located on the West coast of the Republic of Ireland
in the province of Connacht
, where they held territories was at Ballykilleen since early times. This lofty family were the ancient Chiefs of Fingal, Earls of Fingal and Lords Killeen. Saint Kilian, (also spelled Killian) from the Irish: Cillian, was an Irish missionary bishop and the apostle of Franconia. He was born in Mullagh, County Cavan
, and is the patron saint of the parish of Tuosist, in County Kerry
. Saint Kilian's feast day is July 8th and St. Kilian's Abbey, at Würzburg is named after him. Today there are two Killeen Castles in Ireland: one located at Dunsany, in County Meath
, that dates back to about 1180, but today's structure is a restoration of the 19th century after a fire in 1981. It will include a luxury golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus. The second Killeen Castle is a 17th century castle at Killeen, in Castlegar, County Galway.
Early History of the O'Killan family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our O'Killan research.Another 243 words (17 lines of text) covering the years 1180, 1981, 1180 and 1172 are included under the topic Early O'Killan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
O'Killan Spelling Variations
During the Middle Ages, surnames were spelt by scribes solely based on how it sounded, one's name could have been recorded many different ways during the life of its bearer. Numerous spelling variations
were revealed in the search for the origin of the name O'Killan family name. Variations found include Killeen, Killen, Killion, Killian, Killin, Gilin, Killan, Killoon, O'Killen, McKillen and many more.
Early Notables of the O'Killan family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early O'Killan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the O'Killan family to the New World and Oceana
Under the rule of England
, land ownership in Ireland
changed dramatically, and many native Irish families
found themselves renting out land to farm from absentee owners. This was one of the prime reasons that immigration to North America began in the late 18th century: Irish farmers dreamed of owning their own parcel of land to work for themselves. At this point, the immigrants were at least of modest means for the passage across the Atlantic was often quite dear. In the 1840s the Great Potato Famine
created an exodus of people of quite different means. These people were most often destitute: they either sold anything they had to gain a passage or they were sponsored by philanthropic societies. Many of these immigrants were sick from disease and starvation: as a result many did not survive the long transatlantic journey. Although those settlers that did survive were often despised and discriminated against by people already established in these nations, they were critical to rapid development of the powerful industrial nations of the United States and the country that would later become known as Canada. An examination of immigration and passenger lists shows many persons bearing the name of O'Killan or one of its variants: Jenkins Killen, who settled in Virginia in 1805; Alexander, Denis, James, John, Patrick, and Robert Killen, who all arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860.